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Same with the Ibizans. It's a primitive breed thing.

makes sense. based on this, here's my current theory:

in the wild, a dog wouldn't have the luxury of playing with it's prey. whereas more "modern" "created" breeds (like terriers or herding dogs) would be used to depending on humans for food, and wouldn't need to scarf down rodents if they didn't want to. :-)
-kelly
is this normal? do your dogs eat their prey? or just play with >them?

My dogs don't do either.. although they might eat the prey if it was left lying around in the yard and/or if they were hungry enough.

First, none of them (and I'm including past dogs here) has ever played with prey in the sense of prolonging the death; they have killed quickly and efficiently- the prey is dead within a second or so. And none has ever played with it once it's dead.
For all of my dogs, playing with objects- tossing, chasing, catching, tugging - is pretending to kill. Real killing is more concentrated, serious, and efficient.
Pepper, the dog I had before Brenin (28 lbs, dam a Beagle/Cocker, sire some sort of terrier or terrier mix) killed rabbits by flicking them up into the air (it broke their necks, and they hit the ground dead), and squirrels by shaking them. She didn't hunt anything smaller. After killing, she would pick up the prey, bring it to me, and drop it at my feet.
She did occasionally tackle larger prey - woodchucks, raccoons, and the like- when running with other dogs; they were never killed, because we always called them off in the early stages of engagement. She also once caught a deer - a young doe- in concert with a Fox Terrier mix; they pulled her down and pinned her, one gripping her ear, the other her heel.

Pepper also lived in harmony with pet rabbits, birds, rats and cats she partially raised two kittens who were given to me at 4 weeks and was the soul of gentleness with human children. She did make a distinction between her own cats and all others, but only in that neighbor cats got chased out of the yard or up a tree; once they were out of our yard, she'd stop the chase.
Brenin, like Pepper before him, doesn't usually show interest in hunting anything smaller than a squirrel, although once or twice when the girls have denned a chipmunk he's gotten interested. He'd like to chase deer, but I don't let him; likewise raccoons and so forth.
The only prey he really catches (he doesn't have the same hunting opportunities that Pepper did) are squirrels. He doesn't shake them, but crunches- several quick crunching bites in rapid succession; takes a second or less, usually. Once it's dead, he may guard it from other dogs, but otherwise doesn't show much interest. However, without other dogs around, and leisure, he might eat it.
And he's incredibly serious about hunting squirrels; he will stand motionless for extended periods of time, watching one and waiting for it to come down, and stalking it as it does.
He's always gotten on fine with my cats; neighbor cats he'll chase (not very seriously) if they run, make friends with if they're friendly.

Morag is much more motion-triggered than Brenin (not surprisingly) and is also very intense and interested in smaller prey such as chipmunks, mice, voles, and the like. She will run deer if given the chance, but only for short distances; she will also chase birds if they fly low to the ground. Small prey- chipmunks and down- she kills by grabbing in her front teeth and shaking. I don't know how she'd kill larger prey, because she always hunts squirrels in concert with Brenin.
On the occasions that they've gotten one together, she has either headed the squirrel (IOW, cut off its escape) and let him make the catch and kill, or made the catch, then released it for him to kill. She will carry a kill around and guard it from other dogs; again, I'm not sure if she'd eat it, given the leisure, but I suspect she would. Like Brenin, she's fine with cats.
Rocsi, true to her breed instincts, will hunt and kill small mammals- squirrels and downwards- but teases and bays at larger prey, keeping her distance. (Jacks are NOT supposed to kill large prey, but to drive it out of the den.)
Mice, voles, shrews, etc. are killed as Brenin kills squirrels- several rapid-fire crushing bites; then she rolls on it. She's been known to carry them into the house (probably intending to eat them later), but out in the field loses interest fairly quickly- there's more live prey to be hunted. Even when she does bring them in, it's a matter of going and collecting an earlier kill.
She and Morag sometimes hunt small prey together; generally, Rocsi digs it out, it then runs, Morag either catches it in her front teeth and tosses it to Rocsi, or she heads it to Rocsi.
Squirrels, she normally hunts with one or both of the others, and if there are kills, Brenin normally does the honors.
She's only ever once caught a squirrel on her own; she was very young at the time, and it was nearly as big as she was. The squirrel missed a jump and fell right in front of her; she bowled it over and locked teeth in its' neck, it grabbed hold of her harness with all four feet and locked teeth in the loose skin under her chin- Mexican Standoff. I picked her up by the harness and said "Drop it"- she did, whereupon the squirrel let go, dropped to the ground, and ran away.
Rocsi is fine with my two cats- good buddies, in fact- but does sometimes start teasing them in a manner similar to the way she works large prey. When she FIRST met my cats- at age 13 weeks- she VERY clearly took one look and thought "Prey!!". Her entire attitude and reaction was "I could kill you, if I was bigger!". However, the next morning, after they had slept in the bed with the rest of the pack, her attitude shifted to "I could play with you, if I was a bit bigger!". (At the time, she weighed 4.2 lbs, and they were 13 and 20 lbs.)
Somehow, them sleeping with the rest of us made it clear to her that they were pack, not prey, even if they smelled different and spoke dog with an accent.
The fact that both of them are very dog-savvy, had no fear of her, and were more than willing to whap her upside the head if she was a pest, certainly helped. I err on the side of caution, anyway, and don't leave her loose with them when I'm not home; on the rare occasions I go out and leave her home, either she's crated or they're shut in my bedroom.

She's very very interested in the rescue cats at PetsMart, but I really can't tell if she wants to play (as she does with my guys) or wants to chase. It ISN'T the same reaction she has to the caged rats, though. And she HATED the shop cat we used to have; Shadow hissed and scratched her on first meeting, and after that Rocsi saw her as prey, as far as I could tell.
As a side note...interestingly, all three of my current dogs are naturally wary of snakes- Rocsi, in particular, reacts with extreme hesitation and caution even to a shed snakeskin.
Two clarificationsL
She and Morag sometimes hunt small prey together; generally, Rocsi digsit out, it then runs, Morag either catches it in her front teeth and tossesit to Rocsi, or she heads it to Rocsi.

IOW, Morag usually lets Rocsi make the kill.
When she FIRST met my cats- at age 13 weeks- she VERY clearly took one look and thought "Prey!!". Her entire attitude and reaction was "I could kill you, if I was bigger (At the time, she weighed 4.2 lbs

Minor correction: she became my dog, and came to live with me permanently, at 13 weeks and 4.2 lbs. She first met the cats at 11.5 weeks, and probably weighed a bit LESS than 4 lbs at the time.
Part of the process of the rehoming decision was me taking her home for about 36 hours (Thursday night to Saturday morning), to assess her reaction to the cats and the other dogs' reaction to having her in their home.
As a side note...interestingly, all three of my current dogs arenaturally wary of snakes- Rocsi, in particular, reacts with extreme hesitation and caution even to a shed snakeskin.

interesting. my dogs react the exact same way to snakes, even the little tiny garden snakes that live up here. i wonder if it's hardwired.

-kelly
Interesting combination of hunting/killing styles and subsequent "activities" (for lack of a better combined term...).

My guys catch a bird or two a year, and have at times swallowed it head first... the same way it comes out, pretty much stripped. But if Louie gets the bird, he will hoard it, carrying it around for 2-3 days before he forgets and leaves it where I can find it and dispose of..

But furry critters... are different. A lightening fast grab, crunch, major shake, and dead. Terriers do not have "soft" mouths. Several of my terriers have then played pass with the corpses for several volleys. It is difficult to get a fresh body away.. It takes Real Bribery in edible form; cocktail sausages, hot dog, cheese, table meats. Schroeder has brought me some mice... I woke up to find him on the foot of the bed with the corpses between his front feet. Louie claimed the corpse of our one dead squirrel and it was his bird routine all over. I have never found traces of a mammal in the dogs' poop.. just the birds..

Jo Wolf
Martinez, Georgia
interesting. my dogs react the exact same way to snakes, even the little tiny garden snakes that live up here. i wonder if it's hardwired.

I think it's at least partially hardwired- especially since it seems to be smell-based, and it's strongest in Rocsi, who's the only one who is 100% hunting breed.
Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera with me when she found a shed blacksnake skin a couple of days ago; the sight of her repeatedly tiptoeing up to it (literally tiptoeing), leaning foward ever so cautiously, sniffing, then LEAPING backwards instantly, was both fascinating and very funny.
My guys catch a bird or two a year, and have at times swallowed it head first... the same way it comes out, pretty much stripped.

Ew.
Several of my terriers have then played pass with the corpses for several >volleys.

I've only ever seen my guys do that once; that time, another dog came along and got into the chase, and Brenin and Morag seemed to feel compelled to keep the corpse away from him. (Meanwhile, his owner was flipping out; considering her dog is half Airedale, I didn't have much sympathy.)
It is difficult to get a fresh body away..

Interestingly, I have no problem with that. My guys will guard from another dog, but have no objection to me handling kills.
Schroeder has brought me some mice... I woke up to find him on the foot of the bed with the corpses between his front feet.

Heh. Reminds me of my old Siamese, Lucy Victoria, who left her offerings at the foot of the stairs, neatly laid out. Unfortunately, this usually meant that I stepped on them in bare feet, stumbling down for morning coffee.
Same with the Ibizans. It's a primitive breed thing.

makes sense. based on this, here's my current theory: in the wild, a dog wouldn't have the luxury of playing ... to depending on humans for food, and wouldn't need to scarf down rodents if they didn't want to. :-) -kelly

And then there's Pablo who's frankly horrified by raw meat in any form (our casual ventures into BARF did not go over well). Whenever we've come crossed recently dead animals (say crossing a local road on the way to hiking trails) he's repulsed. As far as hunting instinct, he does like to chase but I've never seen any of the other behaviors such as stalking, biting or the shake-to-kill. He doesn't even roll in stinky stuff. Maybe Pablo is an example of the civilization of dogs gone too far. ;-)

Chris and her smoothies,
Pablo and Lucy (Stinky old deer poop! All right!)
berlin.de:
is this normal? do your dogs eat their prey? or just play with them?

Ummm. Moogli really does try to eat the socks that he catches. Unfortunately he only seems to be interested in my dirty ones, and while tasty, I think the smell is just a bit too much for him. The amount of slobber he uses to try to kill the stench is impressive though.

Marcel
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